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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Mar 1;52(3):1557-66. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6549.

Cone structure in retinal degeneration associated with mutations in the peripherin/RDS gene.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, UCSF School of Medicine, 10 Koret Way, Room K-129, San Francisco, CA 94143-0730, USA.



To study cone photoreceptor structure and function associated with mutations in the second intradiscal loop region of peripherin/RDS.


High-resolution macular images were obtained with adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and spectral domain optical coherence tomography in four patients with peripherin/RDS mutations and 27 age-similar healthy subjects. Measures of retinal structure and fundus autofluorescence (AF) were correlated with visual function, including best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), kinetic and static perimetry, fundus-guided microperimetry, full-field electroretinography (ERG), and multifocal ERG. The coding regions of the peripherin/RDS gene were sequenced in each patient.


Heterozygous mutations in peripherin/RDS were predicted to affect protein structure in the second intradiscal domain in each patient (Arg172Trp, Gly208Asp, Pro210Arg and Cys213Tyr). BCVA was at least 20/32 in the study eye of each patient. Diffuse cone-greater-than-rod dysfunction was present in patient 1, while rod-greater-than-cone dysfunction was present in patient 4; macular outer retinal dysfunction was present in all patients. Macular AF was heterogeneous, and the photoreceptor-retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) junction layer showed increased reflectivity at the fovea in all patients except patient 1, who showed cone-rod dystrophy. Cone packing was irregular, and cone spacing was significantly increased (z-scores >2) at most locations throughout the central 4° in each patient.


peripherin/RDS mutations produced diffuse AF abnormalities, disruption of the photoreceptor/RPE junction, and increased cone spacing, consistent with cone loss in the macula. The abnormalities observed suggest that the integrity of the second intradiscal domain of peripherin/RDS is critical for normal macular cone structure.

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